Symantec Dishes Out $370M To Buy Brightmail

The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, was announced just one month after Brightmail stated intentions to file for an initial public offering.

It was unclear how the acquisition would impact solution providers in Brightmail's extensive channel program, but executives at Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec said the 100 resellers selling Brightmail solutions would be "welcomed" into the Symantec channel, and that products from both vendors would soon be available to VARs on both sides.


Cullen says buyout will enable Symantec to offer fully integrated solutions.

This was good news for VARs themselves, who agreed that the acquisition validated the antispam market. David Glenn, general manager of Creative Breakthroughs, Shelby Township, Mich., predicted that the move would increase the enterprise viability of Symantec's antivirus and security solutions.

"When you ask our customer base what security challenge has the biggest impact on their daily business flow, 70 percent of them say spam," Glenn said. "This acquisition will definitely increase the scope of our Symantec solutions."

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Darrel Bowman, CEO of AppTech, Tacoma, Wash., agreed. "This is going to be a great addition to the Symantec product line and to the channel as well," he said. "The merger extends our channel resources %85 and provides some missing pieces to the antispam effort of Symantec."

The Brightmail Anti-Spam solution already integrates some of Symantec's antivirus technology. According to Steve Cullen, senior vice president of security products and solutions at Symantec, the acquisition will improve the way the technologies work together, eventually leading to a stronger integrated approach to security.

"With Brightmail in the fold, we're talking about a messaging gateway that would deliver integrated security solutions that nobody else delivers today," Cullen said. "What we're saying is that we're going to give our partners a much more valuable solution to take to market than they could have done previously. It will be a great calling card."

Specifics on how Symantec would incorporate Brightmail solutions were sketchy, but executives from both firms noted that because the companies currently work together, they would be ready to take a combined product to market as soon as the deal closes. Brightmail CEO Enrique Salem estimated that the deal would most likely close before July 1.

In addition to Brightmail Anti-Virus, Symantec would acquire Brightmail Reputation Service, which blocks messages from identified spam sources; and Brightmail Anti-Fraud, which blocks fraudulent e-mails that mimic legitimate communications.